‘The Old Guard’: How the Netflix Movie Is Making History

Directed by Gina Prince-Bythewood, The Old Guard reached the top spot on Netflix’s trending list the weekend it was released. The Netflix movie with action star Charlize Theron leading its cast is now making history. What records is The Old Guard breaking?

‘The Old Guard’, based on comic books of the same name, is breaking records for Netflix — and Black female filmmakers

The Old Guard
Marwan Kenzari as Joe, Matthias Schoenaerts as Booker, Charlize Theron as Andy, Luca Marinelli as Nicky, Kiki Layne as Nile in The Old Guard | AIMEE SPINKS/NETFLIX

Recently, Netflix’s Twitter account announced that their action flick The Old Guard “is breaking records!”

“The Charlize Theron blockbuster is already among the top 10 most popular Netflix films ever,” they tweeted. However, that’s not the only record the movie broke.

“Gina Prince-Bythewood is the first Black female director on the list,” the tweet continued. She’s also the first Black female director to helm a major action movie, ever. “The film is currently on track to reach 72M households in its first 4 weeks!”

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The fact that Prince-Bythewood had never directed an action film before makes the movie’s success all the more impressive. Proof, as Theron pointed out in a Hindustan Times interview, that “if you have a real passion and an urge to want to work in this genre, women are just as capable.”

She obviously had a passion to want to explore this genre,” The Old Guard star emphasized. Theron went on to criticize the lack of gender balance in Hollywood.

“We’re seeing a lot more of that exploration now,” she told the publication. “But, not nearly enough of it when we look at our male counterparts and the responsibilities and opportunities that are handed to them.”

‘The Old Guard’ director wants to have a diverse cast in her movies — to make it ‘normal’

Wired spoke to the record-breaking filmmaker herself, Prince-Bythewood. She explained that she was intrigued by the movie’s source material — The Old Guard comic books — for their diversity.

The Old Guard: Charlize Theron and KiKi Layne
Charlize Theron and Kiki Layne in The Old Guard | Aimee Spinks/Netflix

“… the normalcy of the diversity within the film is the way I see the world,” Prince-Bythewood told Wired. “I would love others to see that world as well.” She believes portraying the inherent diversity of the world in movies and TV shows will have a positive impact.

“The more we make it normal, the more it will start to affect the way the world behaves,” Prince-Bythewood explained.

What’s next for the Netflix success Gina Prince-Bythewood?

According to Deadline, The Old Guard director already found her next project.

“Prince-Bythewood will direct Viola Davis in period action drama The Woman King for Sony’s TriStar,” the publication reported. What’s the movie going to be about? Deadline wrote:

Gina Prince-Bythewood
Gina Prince-Bythewood attends the Essence 11th Annual Black Women in Hollywood Awards Gala in 2018 | Phillip Faraone/Getty Images

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Inspired by true events that took place in the Kingdom of Dahomey, one of the most powerful states of Africa in the 18th and 19th centuries, The Woman King tells the story of Nanisca (Davis), general of the all-female military unit known as the Amazons, and her daughter, Nawi, who together fought the French and neighboring tribes who violated their honor, enslaved their people and threatened to destroy everything they’ve lived for.